A Boy and His Dog

A Boy and His Dog, screening today at the River Oaks Theatre, is a post-apocalyptic scenario that could have only come from self-proclaimed “most contentious person on earth” Harlan Ellison. For those of you who aren’t sci-fi geeks, Ellison is a writer extraordinaire. His résumé includes writing gigs for the original The Outer Limits and Star Trek television series (he was fired on his first day at Disney for making a joke about putting their signature characters in animated porn), and hundreds of short stories and articles.

Ellison, whose work is quite dark and clever if you can stomach his personality, wrote A Boy and His Dog as a short story. Director L.Q. Jones expanded it into the 1975 film about Vic (Don Johnson), a forager in a nuclear wasteland, and his bio-engineered telepathic dog Blood (voiced by Tim McIntire). Sex is more important than food or weapons to the crude Vic, and the smart-assed Blood helps him find women to, well, rape, until the two find an underground society, deceivingly made up to look like a suburban ‘50s utopia, populated by women who want to violate Vic in a most poetically just way.

An Axl Rose of the sci-fi sect, the abrasive and complex Ellison is hard to appreciate without wading far into geekdom. A Boy and His Dog is the easiest way for laymen to sample his style, even if it does make Dr. Strangelove seem sweet and optimistic. 11:55 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 2009 West Gray. For tickets and information, call 713-866-8881 or visit www.landmarktheatres.com. $8.25.
Fri., March 14, 11:55 p.m.; Sat., March 15, 11:55 p.m., 2008

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Nick Keppler